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10 Feb 2017

Why the radio star is still very much alive

Posted on February 10, 2017 by

Yesterday we were at MediaCity in Salford hosting a broadcast day with our client first direct.

I happened to mention this to some friends as we discussed our working weeks and their reaction was extremely interesting. Despite the fact that they all listen to the radio at some point during the day – whilst getting ready or on the way to work – they assumed that from a brand perspective radio was dead and particularly when it came to targeting young people.

Of course, for many organisations and brands, the focus is rightly on online and social media channels. But despite the threat of streaming services and the rise of online media resulting in a decline in traditional print press, radio is still an important channel and the RAJAR Q4 2016 figures, also out yesterday, prove radio is going strong.

Here’s a handy video of the RAJAR highlights by broadcast specialist The Markettiers:

According to RAJAR, 90 per cent of the UK population tune in to radio on average each week, with the total live radio audience across the UK reaching the second highest it’s ever been, with 48.68 million people tuning in. The figures show that online listening totalled 78 million hours, with 27 per cent coming via mobile and tablet.

The BBC has a majority of those listeners with a 53 per cent share (up year on year).  But on the commercial front Global, which owns the likes of Heart, Capital, Smooth and Classic, led the way with 24.4 million listeners  (over a third of the UK population) in the last quarter.  Heart proved to be the most popular brand, attracting 9.28 million listeners.

From our experience there’s an assumption that radio is for old people – the retired, stay-at-home parents and the over 50s.  However, in a recent survey 35 per cent of millennials said broadcast was their most important source of news, versus 26 per cent who stated social media.

It shows that broadcast media (TV and radio) still has a strong influence.  And in terms of radio specifically, 52 per cent of all 18-34 year-olds listen to the radio every week and spend an average of 14 hours a week listening.

Of course, it depends on the message, the brand and the exact audience.  In yesterday’s instance, radio interviews were part of a much wider media campaign targeting online news, lifestyle sites and social media channels too.  But radio certainly helped amplify the message, which is increasingly important given the challenge brands face, competing for a younger audience’s time.

Yesterday’s report shows that radio is very much alive and is likely to be a vital part of your customers’ daily routine – even if they are young.

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